This past weekend, we had a one-day break in the rain. There is nothing quite like feeling the sun on your skin after so many grey sky days. Muscles sequentially relax–muscles you didn’t even realize were tense in the first instance. Couple that with the bouquet of floral essences that hangs in the air after a rain, and it’s a little slice of heaven. I’m pretty sure everyone in town took full advantage: hiking, biking, gardening, barbequing. I joined them–going for a hike in the Bridgers to see the wildflowers bloom …
mowing the lawn (I have to admit, my favorite chore–you get to be outside, the smell of fresh-cut grass is divine, and it looks so darn pretty when you’re done), and digging in the garden. As of Monday, all of the seeds are planted–lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, snap peas, carrots, beets, zucchini, cucumbers, chamomile, parsley–as are the tomato and pepper starts. And a basil start for good measure (and, of course, pesto). The water for the drip hoses is turned on (thanks to a good neighbor and his willingness to brave the crawl space), the plastic will go up on the hoop houses this weekend, and then: it’s time to grow!
It will be a little while until the tomatoes are ready for harvest, and I can’t quite wait until then to indulge. Our local coop has had some amazing jumbo grape tomatoes on sale, and I’ve been slow roasting them in the oven and using them in frittatas, on salads, and (especially when they’re right out of the oven and all kinds of crispy-salty goodness) eating them like candy. The technique works for larger tomatoes too–it just takes a bit longer. Perfect to let roast away while you’re busy in the early-season garden. Enjoy!
Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Farenheit.
Rinse the tomatoes, then slice them in half lengthwise.
Place halved tomatoes in a bowl and toss them with a drizzle of olive oil.
Arrange the tomato halves cut side up on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
Sprinkle tomato halves with sea salt.
Place in the oven to slow roast for 2-5 hours. The larger the tomato, the longer they will take to roast. Cherry and grape tomatoes typically take 2-3 hours, Roma tomatoes about 4 hours, and slicing tomatoes about 5 hours. When done, the tomatoes will have lost much of their liquid and be a bit crispy around the edges, but still be somewhat flexible.
Use on salads, in omelettes or frittatas, or eat by the handful …
Stored unused oven-roasted tomatoes (if there are any!) in a covered container in the refrigerator.